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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

How to Lose Your Leprosy (In Four Easy Steps) – A Homily for the 6th Sunday of the Year

In today’s Gospel, we see the healing of a leper (this means you and me). Leprosy in Scripture is more than just a physical illness, it is also a metaphor for sin. Leprosy itself is not sin, but it resembles sin and what sin does to us spiritually. For sin, like leprosy, disfigures us; it […] Read the rest of this entry »

On Honesty and Sincerity, As Seen in a Commercial

The word honesty comes from the Latin honestas meaning an honor received from others, a kind of “standing in honor” before others (honor + stas (to stand)). It’s interesting that most people are willing to be a little phony in order to get vague appreciation or to be thought well of. (The whole cosmetics industry is […] Read the rest of this entry »

Stern Love – A Meditation on a Moment When Jesus Was Unkind

The Gospel for today’s Mass shocks most modern readers and perhaps a few ancient ones as well. It is the story of the Syrophoenician woman who begs Jesus to heal her daughter. But Jesus ignores and then rebuffs her. Our shock says perhaps more about our poor understanding of love than about Jesus’ terse response. For review, here is […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Pope and Rome – Synonymous, Right? Hmm … Let’s “See”

Most Catholics understandably link the Church, the Papacy, and Rome. We are “Roman” Catholics. The Pope lives in Rome. He is the Bishop of Rome and of the universal Church. Rome, the Papacy, and the Church are solidly linked terms and almost interchangeable. To say, “Rome has spoken … ” is to say the Pope […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Buzz Lightyear Taught Me About Humility

There was movie some years ago that most of you have probably seen called Toy Story. It had a deep impact on me, for it came out at a critical moment in my life. It was my 33rd year of life and the 6th year of my priesthood. As I have related elsewhere, I had suffered […] Read the rest of this entry »

God’s Law is Personal and Loving

When we speak of God’s law, there is a danger that we might think of it as we think of any secular law. We usually think of secular law merely as a sort of impersonal code written by nameless legislators or bureaucrats. We have not met them; we do not know them or necessarily love or trust […] Read the rest of this entry »

The High Price of the Faith, and Gratitude That Someone Paid That Price

  I wonder if many of us have considered the true cost of the faith that has been delivered to us. We so easily complain if the Church is not air-conditioned, or the P.A. system is poor, or the service too long. But have you or I ever really considered the difficulties endured by those who went […] Read the rest of this entry »

Directions for Disciples When Dealing With Difficulties – A Homily for the 5th Sunday of the Year

In life we face many difficulties, and these difficulties challenge not only us, but our faith. Deep struggle can lead us to question God, His love, or even His existence. The readings today speak to us of these sorts of difficulties and prophetically interpret them for us. Let’s take a look at these readings in […] Read the rest of this entry »

An Image of Salvation in a KIA Soul Commercial

Many years ago, Archbishop Sheen made an insightful point that I am relating to you from memory. I beg your mercy if I do not quote him exactly, but his point related to soteriology, the theology of how we are saved. Now to be clear, we are saved by the obedience of Christ. But not all […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Picture of Holy Boldness in Prayer

  There are some who wince at the notion of praying boldly to God, especially if anger or exasperation are part of that boldness. And yet the Bible itself models and counsels that we should include in our prayers the times when we are angry, exasperated, or disappointed in God. The psalms are filled with such prayers […] Read the rest of this entry »

Pondering Punishment as an Act of Love

In the first reading from today’s Mass (Wednesday of the fourth week of the year) came this admonition: My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. In our times, we have tended to set […] Read the rest of this entry »

Mysteries and Paradoxes of Evangelization – A Meditation on a Passage from the Gospel of Mark

In the Church throughout the world today, we are rightly more focused on evangelization. It is “job one,” and Jesus could not have been clearer: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey […] Read the rest of this entry »